New music teacher joins school community


Photo by Rochelle Berman

Music teacher Sherry Benedek helps students rehearse for the Joan and Marvin Rosenberg High School Musical “1776.”

Sasha Karasik, Reporter

Harmoniah’s recent Kabbalat Shabbat performance was all thanks to the new music teacher, Sherry Benedek. Benedek joined the CESJDS community at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year and she couldn’t be more excited. 

“The kids are great, the students are great, the faculty is great,” she said. “I love the community, everyone’s so supportive and everyone’s so kind.”

From a young age, Benedek has been interested in pursuing a career in music. Right out of high school, she began musically directing shows and during her education at the University of Maryland, she was in Rak Shalom, an award-winning Jewish co-ed acapella group.

Benedek received a degree in music from the University of Maryland School of Music College Park. After college, she performed in various professional settings for a year and then worked at Beth T’filoh, a Jewish Day School in Baltimore for eight years. There, she created and ran the choir program, taught theater and even some swing dance. 

Now, coming to JDS, Benedek provides a personalized and unique element to the music program. 

“I would adjust things as we went along depending on who’s in the group, on their character, on what their voices are like. I even adjust the way I write music a lot of times for a group,” Benedek said. 

Although Benedek has only been at the school for a short period of time, the switch between music teachers has been met positively by students.

“We made a really good smooth transition from Mr. Dunn to Benedek, and I think it’s also good to, you know, experience new people while being in the group. I think that’s important,” Senior Kaylee Fellner said. 

Director of Arts Education Dr. David Solomon was also very excited to have Benedek join the staff. 

“I love the choice of music that she’s bringing to the students. She has established an instant rapport with our students,” Solomon said. “I work very close with the music teacher on the high school musical, and we develop a really strong partnership as we get students ready. That’s something that we’ve developed right away and watching the students grow, I know we’re gonna put on a great show.”

Although the environment is new,  Benedek has been enjoying her time here and is looking forward to the future.

“I love it here. I really do,” she said.